If SS had no meaningful benefit, that would be fine. That's not what it does. It imposes a penalty on those who don't thake them and no longer balances it with a corresponding benefit. That is not "doesn't inherently lead to a meaningful benefit," that is "One choice leads to a penalty and the other doesn't, with no other substantive difference between the choices."It's still optional, in the most basic sense of the word. You are not required to do it. Optional doesn't inherently lead to a meaningful benefit. Perhaps the option simply allows flexibility in how you move through the tech tree.